Challenging jobs

Everyone wants good jobs that support a good quality of life, but how does a community produce them?

QUOTE-Harrison 2.8

This will be the topic Friday, when the Columbus Education Commission will discuss career readiness/business engagement — how to ensure that schools are preparing children for success in life. (The agenda for the meeting is here, and background reading on the subject is here.)  

Clearly, schools, colleges and businesses all play a role. Businesses work with colleges to make sure they are producing workers with needed skills. Colleges work with schools to ensure students arrive ready for college-level coursework. And schools are driven to make sure all students learn, no matter their backgrounds and skills.

But those goals aren’t always met.

Many businesses are frustrated. In a 2010 national survey of CEOs, 53 percent said they had trouble finding qualified candidates for non-managerial jobs. The survey was taken while unemployment in America stood at 10 percent.

Colleges face their own challenges. Only 55 percent of students at Ohio public universities  earn their bachelor’s degree within six years. Only a quarter of community college students earn an associate degree in three years.

Why do so many students leave college without a degree? One reason is that many graduate high school unprepared for college.

Too many college students need remedial classes, which don’t give them credit toward a degree. In Ohio, 25 percent of public university students and nearly 60 percent of community college  take remedial classes. Those numbers mean thousands of college students are spending time and tuition dollars catching up on high school content.

Certainly, schools face their own challenges (including students who started behind). So the question of the day is, how do businesses, colleges, and schools come together to deliver the opportunities we want for every child?

Who’s presenting?

Nancy Hoffman and Joel Vargas from the nonprofit Jobs For the Future will present a summary of recent national research on this topic. They will be joined by two business recruiters, Robin Lynch of ODW Logistics and Rocky Parker of Nationwide along with Jack Heinzman of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council.

Meeting details

Friday’s meeting is open to the public, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be held at Columbus State Community College’s Center for Workforce Development (see map).

If you’re attending the meeting, you may want to bring a lunch. The commission will break only from 11:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. You can find directions to the location here and information about parking here.

We’ll also be streaming the meeting online — stay tuned to this website and our Twitter feed for details. If you can’t make the meeting, we’ll be posting the video afterwards to our “Watch it” page.

If you’d like to read more about the subjects being discussed Friday, the background materials that have been prepared for the Columbus Education Commission are available here on our website.

One thought on “Challenging jobs

  1. Pingback: On good jobs, great teachers | Reimagine Columbus Education

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